The Manor of Walton Bevilles or Penycoks in Woodwalton

Historical notes about the Manor of Walton Bevilles or Penycoks in Woodwalton, Huntingdonshire, England, UK


The manor of WALTON BEVILLES or PENYCOKS, in Wood Walton, may be identified with one of the two fees in Wood Walton held by Aubrey de Sellea. Whether it had been subinfeudated before she granted the manor to the Abbey of Ramsey or at some later date is not certain, but Reginald le Moyne was holding a fee here as early as 1166. Before 1207, his son, Berenger le Moyne, had succeeded him, when an unsuccessful claim to the manor was made by Philip le Moyne.

When Michael, son of Michael de Walton, granted his lands to the abbey, in 1219, he included his rights in the fee which Berenger le Moyne held of him. Berenger granted all his lands in Wood Walton to Robert de Beville, for his homage and service. Odger son of Michael similarly granted all his lands together with the advowson of the church to Robert. In 1224, Odger granted the homage and service of Robert, together with the reversion of all his lands in Wood Walton, to Ramsey Abbey. Hugh, Abbot of Ramsey, thereupon redeemed the advowson from Robert, granting him in exchange three virgates of land in Wood Walton, and confirming to him Berenger le Moyne's grant of one hide of land. About 1230, Robert's heir was in the wardship of William le Bretone. In 1279, the tenant was Sir Richard Beville, knt. It seems clear that he was identical with the Sir Richard Beville who with his wife Fresencia obtained a grant of the manor of Le Northend. He was living in 1284, but probably died before 1285, and certainly before 1305, when his widow held a third of the manor in dower of the inheritance of Idonea, the wife of John de Welle.

The manor had been granted to Richard, the son of John and Idonea, who took the name of Beville, and was holding a knight's fee in Wood Walton in 1303. In 1332, his son Robert settled the manor on himself and his wife Elizabeth and their heirs. He was living in 1346, but was succeeded before 1348 by his son Richard. Robert, the son and heir of Richard, was a minor in the wardship of the Abbot of Ramsey, but was of age before 1363. He was probably identical with the Robert Beville of Wood Walton who was a knight of the shire for Huntingdonshire in 1382, and who gave licence in 1392 for the grant of certain lands of his fee to the Abbey of Sawtry. In 1409 or 1410, his son Thomas Beville was lord of the manor, but in 1412, Joan, lady of Walton, also had a considerable holding there, which she was presumably holding in dower. Thomas died about 1436, when his son Richard probably succeeded him.

Richard Beville died seised of the manor in 1463, when it passed to his daughter Agnes, the wife of John Penycok. In 1514, John Penycok, probably their son, died seised of the manor, and his heir was his brother Thomas. In 1528 or 1529, Thomas was said to have granted the manor to feoffees to hold to the uses of his will, which was proved on January 14, 1530, and in 1531 his son Anthony dispossessed the feoffees, claiming the manor under his marriage settlements. Anthony died seised in 1533, leaving his son Robert, aged two, as his heir. Prolonged litigation took place between Katherine, the widow of Thomas Penycok and wife of Thomas Cotes, and Anthony's widow Mary, who very shortly married Robert Charlton. Various settlements were made and upset, but by 1556 Robert Penycok was married, and he and his wife Margaret, together with his mother and Robert Charlton, sold Beville's manor to Thomas Cotton and William Lawrence. The purchasers also bought the manor of Wood Walton in 1568, and from that time the descent of the two manors was the same.

Victoria County History: Huntingdonshire ~ Printed 1932